I am still of the belief that two of the most important conversations we can have with regards to the future of humanity and of sentient life in general are (a) how the transition to transhumanism could / should take place, and (b) where we would like this transition to inevitably leave us. This short work will have to do with the latter and its emphasis will be a transhuman future ideal state that exemplifies the notion of freedom.
Ill begin with identifying what freedom means, why it might be desirable (and why it might not be), and how it might be ideally attained in a technologically advanced future.
Freedom can be defined (www.meriam-webster.com) as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
As human beings, a sense of autonomy and self-possession is essential to our well-being. It is a constituent of fulfillment based on the nature that we have been granted. We should not suppose, however, that it is inherently good in and of itself, though as humans this inkling of freedom = good is easy to make, as most all of us want it, and want more of it.
It might be possible, for example, for a species to have evolved with a desire to be directed externally, to be constrained in certain ways and so gain a sense of safety and order. These inklings also exist within us as humans, and it might be supposed that if these were more prominent than our drive for freedom, we might not have any noticeably less fulfilling lives (again, assuming that this drive for safety and order was more fulfilling and prominent than that for freedom and autonomy).
However, freedom and autonomy likely served a very important role in our development as a species, and continue to play a role in our transition beyond biological intelligence. We seek expansion, betterment, exploration, and for this reason we see the societies, cultures, and technological advancements of the day. We seek to gain more of what we want, and to have our own wants and pursue them.
Before delving into the epitome of freedom as a transhuman idea to be striven for, I aught address that freedom may not necessarily be good in and of itself (or only in certain contexts). Our human brains associate autonomy and freedom with fulfillment and well-being, but this is no innate requirement of sentient beings. We associate dignity with freedom, but this association may matter little outside of our notions and perspectives as humans.
However, freedom does seem to have taken us to where we are today, and we can assume that it could serve a utility in our explorations of consciousness / sentient potential (and so the future of sentient beings). Hence, it may prove useful as a transhuman ideal as it is not stagnant, and may reveal more and greater levels of potential modes of existence. If our transhuman future aims not only for proliferation of the good life for conscious beings (whatever that ends up meaning [let us hope it implied well-being]), but also for continued progress in exploring the possibilities of conscious experience, then the epitome of freedom may be a model of a transhuman future that we find desirable.
If all (originally) human consciousness were to be put in a state of relatively unthinking super-bliss, our subjective quality of life might skyrocket beyond all imagination but we as previously human consciousness would not be contributing to the furthering of our own potential, or the discovery of further possibilities of capability of well-being. In a situation of unbridled freedom, human consciousness might not only control and enjoy experience, but might vigilantly find new possibilities which all sentient beings could learn from and gain from. If there was an established method for these new discoveries to be shared or proliferated (either between conscious entities or through the medium of some super-intelligence), then each free entity even if in its own virtual world might gain and discover new experiences / capacities / ways of being that all other intelligent life could learn from or draw from.
Given the potential of future technologies, certainty is the last thing we have with regards to what the world might look like, but we might paint a picture as many fiction writers and futurists have aptly done, in order to explore how the expression of different ideals might look and feel in the future.
Transhuman Possibilities and the “Epitome of Freedom” | Sentient …